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Caryl Dawson: A Life-Long Sponsor

Sponsor Caryl Dawson meets her sponsored child in Ecuador.
Sponsor Caryl Dawson meets her sponsored child in Ecuador.

Caryl Dawson has been a Plan USA sponsor most of her adult life — almost 40 years. When she graduated from college, she wanted to help other girls raise their sights in life as she had, especially girls hemmed in by poverty. She decided to help those in developing countries because most of them lack educational opportunities and aren’t given the same encouragement as boys.

Caryl has sponsored children in Korea, India, Indonesia, Bali and, most recently, Ecuador. When each of her children reached the age of 18 and was no longer eligible for sponsorship, she said goodbye with a heavy heart and sponsored a new child.

A few years ago, Caryl decided to combine her desire to help children with her love for travel. She asked to sponsor a girl in Ecuador whom she could actually visit from time to time. After writing and sharing with Tatiana for over six years, Caryl decided the time was ripe for a meeting. She signed up for a Plan USA field trip to Plan Ecuador in 2003.

When she got home, Caryl had a new appreciation for things she used to take for granted — simple things like warm showers, electricity in her home, a telephone, and indoor plumbing. “The people in Ecuador use everything they have. They don’t throw things away the way we do. I’ve seen a child using a pencil so worn down she could hardly hold it in her hand anymore.”

Reflecting on her experience in Ecuador and her long association with sponsored children Caryl says, “I get more than I give, that’s for sure.”

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